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Would an outdoor breakroom be allowed?


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RDM_Rep

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 07:31 PM

Hello All! Writing to you from a food packaging manufacturing company (plastic only, no organic matter). We are getting ready for SQF certification and may need to make some adjustments to our bathrooms to accommodate the code (they do not have the airlock/vestibule). The bathrooms are along our breakroom, and my production manager suggested making an outdoor lunch area instead, and having the bathrooms take over the existing breakroom.  We are in LA so weather is typically favorable, but I had some concerns in terms of the occasional rain, and winter cold (my PM suggested placing outdoor heaters). Pest management and outdoor debris entering the facility are also a concern, but I already have sanitation mats in mind regardless of what we decide. I'm concerned an outdoor only break facility would be an issue for the auditor though, can anyone confirm and advise of any other non conformance's this might result in?  We have a rarely used conference room that I believe could be converted to a breakroom as it is also next to the bathrooms. I feel this would be better option, in addition to the outdoor space (COVID), but if anyone can think of any other concerns to help my argument I would appreciate it. 



SQFconsultant

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 09:36 PM

I would make the suggestion that you obtain the services of an experienced SQF Consultant that can provide advice on this before you go and either spend needed money or create a bigger problem.

The person can review video for instance, make needed recommendations without ever needing to step into your facility.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

SQFconsultant

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 09:37 PM

...uneeded, sorry for typo.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

TimG

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Posted 29 March 2021 - 01:10 PM

It's not ideal, but there are times it's the only option and mitigation of risk is what an auditor will be looking for. Have you started with a cross functional team to sit down and talk through a risk analysis? Some things to consider:

  • Housekeeping and inspection of new area
  • Pest control concerns
    • I'd talk to my PCO and run it by them to get their thoughts for the risk analysis
  • Plumbing for handwash stations and kitchen sink

Do you have captive shoe/uniforms? If you are at that level of risk, it's going to be hard to keep those precautions in place.

In the facility I was in that had an outdoor break trailer our process was suspended above ground in a closed system of pipes, so the risk of bringing in snow was a non issue. The SQF auditor was always very keen on checking my monthly inspections of the break trailer, cross referencing that with my PCO's finding reports and my master cleaning schedule. And for full disclosure, we always had an internal break room on our list of improvements we were reaching towards.



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Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 06:04 PM

Do you have 6' outside each bathroom door? We just added a 6' X 6' block enclosure with a ceiling and door and extended the ventilation to those "airlocks". The rest of your break area should be fine if it hasn't been flagged in the past. We're a paperboard packaging manufacturer and our break area is not even enclosed, it has a railing all the way around the perimeter with two entry / exit points to control the traffic flow. We also have an outdoor break area with a lean-to cover and concrete pad (on our master cleaning schedule) with a long runner rug leading to a safe travel zone inside the plant.






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